Launched with power-packed features such as greater flexibility, scalability, and increased page load speed, Drupal 8 is turning out to be a remarkable CMS – compelling most businesses to migrate immediately. While Drupal 8 migration may not be a cakewalk especially in view of the concerns surrounding data migration and module shifts, a good way to minimize hiccups is to be well prepared beforehand.
While hiring the right Drupal website development partner can ease the process, this post will help you steer in the right direction. We will familiarize you with important facts and advantages in Drupal 8 which you can keep in mind while looking for Drupal development services partner.
The advantages are tremendous in Drupal 8 since it is built around brand new technologies such as Symfony and Twig, which will make the migration process successful. Apart from being flexible and scalable, Drupal 8 is also being projected as a far more reliable version that sees significantly better adoption.
What is Drupal 8?
Drupal is an open-source web content management framework or a web application framework written in PHP. According to Wikipedia, Drupal community supports more than 1.39 million members. The framework provides APIs for developers.
The biggest benefit of Drupal is that it requires minimal programming knowledge to install and set up a website.
Coming to Drupal 8 — it is the latest version of Drupal (released on November 19, 2015) that offers enhancements for both the end-users and the developers. Drupal 8 is the result of more than 3200 core Drupal community contributors.
Some of key features and enhancements introduced by Drupal 8 include:
- Renovated User Interface
- WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) and in-pace editing
- An object-oriented backend that supports Symphony components
- Rewired configuration management
- Enhanced multilingual support
- Offers semantic support for Rich Internet Applications
- Active accessibility gate for reporting issues with Drupal 8
- Has an integrated Twig templating engine
- Better mobile support
Five Factors to Consider Before Migrating to Drupal 8
If you are thinking to migrate to Drupal 8, you should know how it will affect your website and what changes to expect.
Here are five change factors to start with:
Migration will bring in a Complete Theme Overhaul for your Site
Brace yourself for a complete change to your website theme. Your site is going to appear much different after the migration than what it originally looked like with the older versions (Drupal 6 and 7). The primary reason is that the older versions used entirely different themes and templates.
In addition to the acceptability challenges, the theme overhaul calls for an immense amount of prep work. Detailed planning precludes this. A majority of Drupal sites were created within a span of 5 years between 2008 and 2013. At that time, the concept of responsive design ceased to exist, hence, this overhaul theme serves as a blessing in disguise.
Migration is the Perfect Opportunity to update your Old Information Architecture
Moving to an advanced architecture will increase your efficiency in building more future-focused applications. Though it may initially appear to be a herculean task yet it is the right opportunity for you to review your information architecture that may have been created earlier. You would not opt for a change within that unless a situation like migration arises.
This update in your information architecture is an asset. It will give you opportunities to audit the fields and modules that been left unused for a while, fast track the slower ones or even do away with some completely. The update in the information architecture would not mean that the older version goes in the garbage. It simply implies that, first there is a duplication of your older version into D8 and then the fixes are made based on your new needs.
Drupal 8 has Increased Adoption of Native OOPS Feature of PHP
The concept of Object-Oriented Paradigms (OOPS) is not at all new in Drupal. These are some essential features incorporated with the design system to ensure that the system is object-oriented. D8 endorses OOPS features by laying more emphasis on its significance.
There are many constructs in Drupal that fit the description of an “object.” Some of the more prominent Drupal components that could be considered objects are modules, themes, nodes, and users.
Drupal 8 Guarantees Extended Support for Drupal’s Core
Drupal 8 has broadly streamlined the entire functionality into four larger modules: Language (providing IT multilingual support), Configuration Translation (quite similar to internationalization in Drupal 7, where blocks, menus, and views become translatable), Content Translation (similar to entity translation of Drupal 7 where nodes, taxonomy terms, and comments are translatable) and Interface Translation (similar to locale core module of Drupal 7 where the entire user interface becomes translatable).
Contrary to contributing modules in D7, D8 emphasizes on core functionalities. Some common modules that had their functionalities replaced and/or combined with others in Drupal 8 (not a priority now) are Path redirect, Global redirect, Meta tags quick, Page Title, Address field, and Image API.
Drupal 8 Migration Brings in Mobile-Friendly Applications
As discussed earlier, most of the Drupal sites were created before 2013 – a time when the concept of responsive design and the mobile web was not even in its infancy. D6 and D7 were designed largely to support desktop applications and usage. D8 thus comes with an edge – it is largely implemented with a mobile-first approach.
This is not only a bonus for customers who ultimately use the applications, but also the developers who get on to building them. The user interface and the user experience in D8 are all designed to match a mobile user’s needs. The themes are also picked in accordance with the mobile-friendliness of the application.
Most updates and upgrades come up with a suite of advantages. Yet, Drupal 8 migration is always a challenge for teams since there are obvious concerns of data loss and distorted customer experience, especially, during the transition phase. Therefore, it becomes imperative for the application owners to first evaluate the needs and benefits, as well as risks — before choosing Drupal development services partner.
An upgrade to D8 will no longer be a choice but it will be well worth it since D8 is a total revolution.
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